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Three-pointers sink the Comets
by Norv and Mary Coblentz · January 15, 2014

The West Liberty boys' basketball team lost to North Cedar at home Jan. 4, 61-35.

"I thought we played a pretty good first half," West Liberty Head Coach James Laughlin said, "We didn't shoot the ball particularly well in the first half. Down seven (at halftime), I thought we were playing pretty good, and coming out in the second half we'd shoot the ball a little bit better. It didn't happen tonight."

First Quarter

Troy Heick's tip went to Kyle Miller to start the game. The Comets got an offensive rebound, but the Knights got a steal. Brady Smith grabbed a defensive rebound. North Cedar got a block; then Smith got another defensive board. Miller made a basket, assist Brett Becker, for a 2-0 West Liberty lead with 6:58 left in the first quarter.

North Cedar scored the next eight points on a three-point basket, a traditional three-point play and a bucket in the paint.

A three-point shot by Miller made it 8-5, Knights. North Cedar answered with a trey. The Knights got a defensive rebound and a jump shot, stretching their lead to 13-5. Miller was fouled on a shot and made both free throws. Smith was fouled on a shot, and he made the first of two free throws. The Knights got the board and a three-point shot for a 16-8 score after one quarter.

Second Quarter

North Cedar had possession to start the second quarter. Riley Anderson got a steal, and Miller made a layup. North Cedar scored in the paint, then Miller drew a foul. He made the second of two free throws for a 18-11 score. North Cedar made the first of two free throws and Heick grabbed the rebound. Both teams struggled with turnovers and missed shots for more than two and a half minutes, then Miller scored, assist Becker, for a 19-13 score.

The Knights completed a three-point play, then Becker made a long three-point shot. Luke Seele got a defensive rebound for the Comets, but the Comets were called for charging. North Cedar scored inside. The final point of the quarter was a free throw by Miller for a 24-17 score at halftime.

Third Quarter

West Liberty started the third quarter with the ball, but the Knights got a defensive rebound and a three-point basket. Miller was fouled on a shot. He made the first of two free throws. North Cedar got the rebound and another three-point basket, taking a 30-18 lead with 6:28 on the clock.

Becker drove to the hoop and scored. North Cedar scored inside. With 3:47 left in the third quarter, Miller was fouled on a shot. He made both free throws. North Cedar made another three-point basket.

Heick scored with a putback basket for a 35-24 score. North Cedar made the first of two free throws and Smith got the rebound. Miller drove to the basket and scored. North Cedar made another trey. The Comets turned the ball over and North Cedar scored one more time before the quarter ended for a 41-26 tally.

Fourth Quarter

The Knights spent the final quarter stretching their lead. Miller got a defensive rebound, but North Cedar got a steal and a layup. Becker made a three-point basket, then North Cedar answered with an outside jumper.

The Comets missed a couple of free throws, then North Cedar scored on a short jumper. Miller was fouled and made both free throws. Becker deflected the ball to Anderson, then Becker made a layup for a 49-33 score.

The Knights made a three-pointer, then the Comets turned the ball over, and the Knights scored again.

With 1:32 left in the game, North Cedar made their ninth three-point basket of the game. Cooper Koenig got the final points of the matchup on two free throws with 18.3 seconds to go. The final score was 61-35.

The Comets were missing senior Carl Guardado for the game. "We turned the basketball over quite a bit," Laughlin said. "Easy baskets for them and they're shooting the ball really well. That hurt.

"(The team on the floor) wasn't (typical for) us. Missing Carl (Guardado), that third scorer, (made it harder). Hopefully we'll get it turned around here."

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